New Directions achieves success in first five years

What began as a City Council idea in 2011 became New Directions in 2013.  Now, five years later, New Directions has an excellent track record of success and accomplishment.  Four emergency shelters were consolidated under one umbrella, and New Directions now provides genuine help to those who are homeless.

City Council started with the idea that the city should provide emergency assistance for anyone who is in crisis and is willing to accept help.  The first step was an 18 month survey of programs, resources and charities, to learn what was available and to identify any duplications.  More than 60 people representing nearly that many organizations were part of those initial discussions.

New Directions grew out of the effort to consolidate services under one organization to achieve economies of scale and improve service delivery.  Instead of multiple staffs and offices, it made sense to consolidate shelter services under one umbrella group.  Not only would that save money, but it also would provide coordination among the shelters that did not exist at the time.

New Directions was born in 2013, thanks to active assistance and funding from the City of Myrtle Beach.  The partnership’s goal was to help people escape homelessness – to offer genuine, long-lasting assistance – instead of providing only enough support to sustain them in a homeless condition.  Five years later, the numbers show that it’s working.

ABOUT NEW DIRECTIONS

New Directions of Horry County is a non-profit organization that assists people in crisis with more than food and shelter.  At the core of New Directions’ strategy is a service model that centers on individualized case management.  Through its various programs and facilities, New Directions provides recovery classes, job readiness classes, permanent housing assistance, long-term case management and more.  All of these help people who are homeless learn how to manage their lives to become and remain independent.

The program does not deliver handouts.  Rather, New Directions helps those who have fallen on hard times regain their financial footing, self-confidence and self-sufficiency by providing access to tools and resources.  During the past five years, New Directions has established more than 30 local partnerships for job and education programs, counseling, transportation and long-term housing, all while consistently operating the shelters more economically than ever before.

In the last fiscal year alone, New Directions…

  • operated four 24/7 emergency shelters
  • provided more than 60,000 bed/nights
  • assisted 1,174 people, including 74 families and 142 children
  • helped 523 people find permanent housing or be reunited with their families

CITY OF MYRTLE BEACH THANKS MARY JO ROGERS

Mary Jo Rogers City Council 2

The Myrtle Beach City Council recently thanked Mary Jo Rogers for her leadership as New Directions’ board chair from 2013 to 2018.  A banker by trade, Rogers volunteered five years ago to lead the effort of consolidating crisis agencies and providing genuine assistance for people in dire need of shelter, food and other resources.

Through Rogers’ leadership, the New Directions board successfully consolidated The Center for Women and Children, Life Line (formerly CASA), Street Reach and Myrtle Beach Haven into one organization with one management team.  The consolidation saved more than $300,000 in operational costs in the first year alone and millions of dollars to date.

Mary Jo Rogers has been instrumental in providing oversight and guidance for New Directions.  She and the board hired a strong executive director and laid the foundation for helping people get back on their feet.  Rogers recently relinquished the chairman’s role, leaving a successful organization and record of accomplishment.  She plans to remain active as a volunteer.

The City of Myrtle Beach applauds and thanks Mary Jo Rogers for five years of outstanding leadership and community service as the first board chair of New Directions.  Her efforts have made a difference in thousands of people’s lives through the services offered by New Directions.

To see our blog post about the city’s Homeless Court program, click here.